EAST Ayrshire Council has been named UK Council of the Year for 2017 at the annual Improvement and Efficiency Awards (iESE) in London.

The transformation in the council’s services and EAC’s underlying drive to understand the needs of the local area were highlighted by the judges as they plumped for East Ayrshire over the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and Rydale District Council in the most prestigious category of the night.

Councillor Paul Bettison, Chair of iESE said: “The UK Council of the Year is the council deemed outstanding in transforming the delivery of its services.”

iESE recognised in their review of the council that “each of East Ayrshire Council’s transformations is a story worthy of an award”.

Fiona Lees, chief executive of EAC said: “To be named UK Council of the Year 2017 is a tremendous accomplishment and is recognition of the excellent work, commitment and talent of our people.

“The award is for the entire Council and reflects our steadfast commitment to delivering quality services and putting the needs and aspirations of our communities at the heart of all that we do.

“In taking forward our transformation programme, our underlying ambition has been to deliver better outcomes for local people.

“We are doing things differently and I am incredibly proud of all of our teams and the contribution they make to the transformation of service delivery locally.”

It wasn’t the only honour the council picked up on the night. The Vibrant Communities Positive Play team lifted two silver awards for developing and delivering the Play in Prison initiative in partnership with the Scottish Prison Service at HMP Kilmarnock.

The initiative, recognised in the Working Together and Transformation of Health and Social Care categories, encourages positive play, bonding and attachment between imprisoned parents and their families.

The team have helped and encouraged imprisoned parents to build and maintain meaningful relationships with their children and this work has had a profound and positive impact for parents and their children.